GOP presidential hopeful John Kasich braved Stephen Colbert’s show last night to pitch his candidacy and dodge questions as to whether President Obama should nominate a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Mostly, he insisted, “people are getting tired of the negative” in this year’s election cycle, triggering applause.
“Shut up,” Colbert responded, getting a laugh.
“The debates are the dumbest thing going,” the Ohio governor persisted, though these “demolition derbies,” as Kasich has called them, are snagging some of the bigger crowds on TV this season – the most recent GOP debate, on Colbert’s own network, clocking about 14 million viewers (15M at its peak).
Colbert wondered why candidates are portraying the country as a “burning dumpster fire.” Kasich said “If I can’t win by being fundamentally positive. what’s the point of winning?”
“The Republican Party is my vehicle. It is not my master,” Kasich said. Colbert’s crowd seemed to like that line too.
But when asked whether a President Kasich would in his last 330 days in office, nominate a new Supreme Court justice in the event a vacancy came up, as Obama has indicated he will do, per the Constitution, after Scalia’s death last weekend, Kasich’s little campaign car began to careen around the track.
“We are so divided,” Kasich began. The president should not nominate anyone who would not be approved by an “overwhelming consensus, ” he said.
Colbert noted the next POTUS won’t even get that, come election day.
Kasich said Scalia’s replacement should be appointed in a “more orderly” fashion than we’re seeing now (aka wait until after election). The current disorder broke out when Obama said he will follow the Constitution and nominate a replacement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded he will not let any Obama nominee be voted on, and, a couple hours later, all of the GOP candidates fell in line with McConnell at CBS’s GOP debate. Colbert’s audience changed its mind about Kasich and began to boo.
“All I’m saying to you – I’m tired of all the fighting down there,” Kasich insisted. Closing statement: Stop demonizing one another….pull together…raise the country….this judge thing isn’t going to work out.